Integrated use of low risk compounds in plant protection

Last changed: 17 April 2018

The overall aim of this focus group is to work on ways to improve the introduction and use of low risk compounds across agriculture, horticulture and forestry, with the vision of finding new sustainable tools for plant protection problems. In particular, we aim to collect knowledge directed towards proposals of both concrete actions and future research.

The focus group consists of 20-25 participants representing SLU, agencies, research institutes and companies (Centre for Biological Control at SLU, SLU Holding, Swedish Board of Agriculture, Swedish Chemicals Agency, Swedish Forest Agency, The Forestry Research Institute of Sweden, RISE/ JTI, Swedish Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, LMI International, Gullviks, LRF and Rural Economy and Agricultural Societies). A first meeting was held in October 2017, involving 15 participants. Three working groups were established. The work in these groups is anticipated to lead to review articles, popular science articles, research applications (particularly directed towards interdisciplinary research), improved communication among different actors in society and potential for concrete suggestions for improving legislation.

Background and introduction

While there is an increasing interest in alternative tools for plant protection, the applicability of low risk compounds is underutilized. There is also an ongoing change in the EU legislation of these and other chemicals used in plant protection, which may open up the possibility for integration of low risk compounds. Our overall aim is to define knowledge gaps regarding the practical use of low risk compounds in the light of what has been learnt in different cultivation systems from plant mechanisms and biotic interactions to systems ecology. We also aim to identify which knowledge is needed to judge if a compound can be successfully integrated into current plant protection strategies, and how an optimized innovation process can bring them to the market.


Working groups and identified questions of importance

Research perspective: Identify knowledge gaps and lack of expertise within agriculture, horticulture and forestry

Main responsibility: Åsa Lankinen and Johanna Witzell

Which compounds are available and what is known about their efficacy across cultivation forms and environments?

  • What are the dose-response effects, mechanisms of action etc.?
  • How can the use of these compounds be integrated into existing plant protection strategies?
  • How can low risk drugs (i.e. low risk and general chemicals) fit into a new EPPO standard for low risk effectiveness evaluations?
  • How can research/development of low-risk funding be improved and funded?

User perspective: Needs and communication in practice for growers and advisors

Main responsibility: Velemir Ninkovic and Erland Liljeroth

  • Application and formulation techniques. How can we get a better effect of these compounds, that often act by contact, by developing such techniques?
  • What does the farmer/grower need for input?
  • How can knowledge sharing be improved?

International perspective: Legislation in Sweden and the EU

Main responsibility: Åsa Lankinen and Erik Andreasson

  • How do other EU countries work with questions regarding limitations of current legislation, e.g. Denmark, France and The Netherlands?
  • What can EU member states do together to facilitate the use of these compounds?
  • How and whom is it meaningful to influence?
  • What are the biggest problems with legislation for innovations, companies and users?
  • How does the EU and Swedish Chemicals Agency deal with the registration processes of low risk funds from a legal perspective, such as which decisions at national/EU level are contradictory and are there companies that have managed to go around the regulations, etc.?

Core group

Åsa Lankinen, Erland Liljeroth, Johanna Witzell, Velemir Ninkovic

Next workshop

Autumn 2018

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